Brown County Home Solution’s inclement weather shelter for the homeless, housed in the former Avenue D Baptist Church building, passed its city and fire marshal inspection Monday and will open Jan. 24.
That’s the message of Linda Heitman, the organization’s executive director, who addressed Brownwood City Council members Tuesday on the shelter’s status.
An open house will be held at the shelter from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
“We have made huge, huge progress so once I get my certificate of occupancy (Monday), I’m going to move my office over there this weekend,” Heitman said.
The building’s second floor will contain overnight space for up to 16 people. The upstairs will also contain rest rooms, laundry facilities and a living area.
A dining area for supper and breakfast, as well as additional rest rooms, will be downstairs near the kitchen. BCHS plans to install a shower room later.
The shelter will accept women and families, including men who are part of the family unit, Heitman said. Single men will be sent to the New Beginnings church.
Heitman said earlier the shelter will open for the night if the temperature is expected to drop to 32 degrees or lower with no wind, or to 36 degrees or lower with wind or precipitation. The shelter will open at 5 p.m. for the night, and those who stay there will leave by 7 or 8 the next morning, Heitman said.
When the shelter is open, a volunteer will be on staff at the shelter for the entire night.
“We are making huge strides, but the really awesome thing to me is, Sept. 24 was when our board officially voted to move forward with the project,” Heitman said.
“And Jan. 24 is when we’re opening — four months to the day after we started.”
A “point of time” homeless count sponsored by the Austin-based Texas Homeless Network will be Jan. 23.
Heitman said she is coordinating with law enforcement to identify locations where the homeless gather.